Today, the tribe of city-based mothers who are making the same demand has grown. Social media is saturated with a bevy of freshly-hairless men and boys smiling on Instagram the way Kapil Dev did recently after copying Vivian Richard’s famous bald look recently. With salons shut for over a month now and the sweaty, shapeless days of lockdown 3.0 showing no signs of abating, many restless men, it seems, are pining for their barbers and going for the drastic haircut with their trimmers. Besides heat and boredom, this follicular trend is also a male mass exodus from what Yashwant Sinha would call the fate of sporting the hairstyle of Jairam Ramesh. However, the lot also includes a few, rare women who are tired of overthinking the desire to go bald.
Last Sunday, Bandra-based Srija Chatterjee Kurdikar watched her “tired-of-the-heat” husband Kedar and “sick-of-unmanageable-hair” son Girik work the trimmer on each other’s heads. Unlike Wahal’s wife who reminds him often to grow his hair back fast, Chatterjee seems to approve particularly of her 17-year-old son’s tidy, new look, calling it a vast improvement over his previous moussey, teeny-boppy, high-maintenance mop that her advertising-agency-head brain struggles to describe in words.
A host of celebs too seem to be wearing the bald look like expensive hats. Choreographer Terence Lewis recently rid himself of his expensive silky, bleached locks as a vanity-shedding gesture in an Instagram video while filmmaker-choreographer Remo D’Souza—prone to changing hairstyles as frequently as Dhoni—too appeared on Instagram sporting a bathrobe and a head as smooth as a dance floor. The lot also includes rare women such as Malayalam actress Jyothirmayi who recently caused headlines when her husband posted pictures of her shaved head online without an explanation.
The motive sometimes runs deeper than the heat. For formerly curly-haired investment banker Shailesh Harer—who describes himself as “a humanist and an atheist”—it was a friendly challenge posed by an anonymous Facebook friend prompted the new, bald look. “Welcome to taklu club,” his online friends cheered friends when the banker posted his pictures online and today, inadvertently Goregaon-based Harer’s father is also part of the club. “I helped him shave his head,” says Harer.
Frustration could also have led to memberships to the rise in taklu club. Some men decided to go bald after tearing their hair out over-elaborate hair-trimming tutorials. Atin Wahal, for instance, says he had watched these tutorials last month but the complex logistics and intricate tools required to put him off. “I only had a trimmer,” says Wahal, a former advertising man whose hand still habitually reaches for the hairbrush every morning and whose look has found mimics in not only friends but also his Delhi-based brother, Surat, who recently put the trimmer to the ultimate use. “There are three taklus in my house now,” says Surat, a father to newborn twins.
Even as they soak in the freeing lightness of their weightless heads, society makes morbid assumptions. Jogeshwari-based introverted Bollywood writer Siddharth Singh, whose niece helped him extinguish his receding hairline last Sunday, mostly feels “like I have nothing to worry about” but there was that moment his father asked him why he was sporting the look of a son in mourning. Forty-nine-year-old Worli-based police driver Nitin Panaskar can relate. “As cops, we have strict rules about haircuts and are used to going to the salon once every 15 days. But since saloons are closed and you can’t trust the ones that are operating discreetly anyway with sanitisation, I took the trimmer and did it myself,” says Panaskar, who lives in. A 220-square-foot home with two grown-up kids and his wife. When Panaskar stepped out for duty, his neighbours suspected personal tragedy. “The last time I had shaved my head was when my father passed away in 2010,” says Panaskar.
Andheri-based freelance writer and full-time tomboy Qainat Mansoor–who had long been dissuaded by everyone from her homeopath (“Are you mad?”) to peers (“You will look like you escaped from a mental asylum”) everytime she discussed her desire to sport the bald look–is now relishing her four-year-old daughter Qaira’s frequent kisses on her neat, fair scalp. On April 30, Qaira had excitedly trained the phone camera on her mother’s head as her father gently relieved it of hair with his trimmer. When the first clump of hair fell to the floor, Mansoor had goosebumps and kept second-guessing her long-standing whim throughout the process. “When I first looked at my white scalp in the mirror, I thought I looked like an egg,” says the 34-year-old. On a video call later, her father laughed but her mother yelled: ‘What have you done?”. “I sent her a picture of myself later and she liked it,” says Mansoor, about her mother who now proudly forwards the picture to her friends.
“Why waste time thinking about other people’s comments?” asks Mansoor, whose work calls have yielded both praise and envy and whose Instagram following has increased manifold in two days. Many have confessed to her about having stifled the desire to sport the look for fear of husbands or society. “I realised if you are comfortable in your skin, people look at you comfortably but if you are uneasy, it shows,” says the writer. An uncle in her building confirmed that theory. When she stepped out for groceries, the recently-bald-by-choice uncle said: “Oh, you shaved your head too? Looking damn nice.”
Author: ” — timesofindia.indiatimes.com “